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John Burroughs

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Book Excerpt: 
. . .Dutch Van Velser strain,—Long Island blood filtered and vitalized through generations by the breath of the sea. He was his mother's child unmistakably. With all his rank masculinity, there was a curious feminine undertone in him which revealed itself in the quality of his voice, the delicate texture of his skin, the gentleness of his touch and ways, the attraction he had for children and the common people. A lady in the West, writing to me about him, spoke of his "great mother-nature." He was receptive, sympathetic, tender, and met you, not in a positive, aggressive manner, but more or less in a passive or neutral mood. He did not give his[Pg 50] friends merely his mind, he gave them himself. It is not merely his mind or intellect that he has put into his poems, it is himself. Indeed, this feminine mood or attitude might be dwelt upon at much length in considering his poems,—their solvent, absorbing power, and the way they yield themselves to diverse interpreta. . . Read More

Community Reviews

I thought this might be a book that dragged but it did not! Burrough and Whitman were close friends for much of their adult live and Burrough was convinces that Leave of Grass was a seminal piece of literature and goes to great lengths to explain why.

This is the book that never ends. Yes, it goes on and on my friends. A garrulous love letter to Walt Whitman. Burroughs threatens to drown the reader sentences of ungodly lengths and pages of the repetitious rapture of a die-hard fan girl. Had I been the editor, I might have said, "Burroughs, this i